Being a nerd is about understanding. It’s about getting sly references, it’s about recognizing characters from their voices or their weapons before they step fully into frame. It’s about arguing over plot holes, ethical codes, and superhero powers.
This week on the premiere of Brokers of S.H.I.E.L.D. Marvel allowed everyone to play the nerd for the night time, and not simply the nerd elite. Marvel allowed us all to flex our developing nerd muscles. And for one hour, damn it felt good to be a nerd.
On the premiere of S.H.I.E.L.D., leader Joss Whedon and crew skipped the exposition and as a substitute relied on viewers’ previous data of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other nerdy content. Instead of a boring lecture on the Marvel world, the show instead simply rushed into it. The result? It felt like a bunch of inside jokes that we have been all in on.
The present was loaded with fun references and puzzles for the most informal and the nerdiest of Marvel fans to resolve. S.H.I.E.L.D. name dropped Nick Fury, Mission Pegasus, Romanoff, The Battle of latest York, Extremis, Chitauri, but didn’t clarify more. It showed the six Avengers but by no means blatantly — as an alternative exhibiting them as toys, pictures of their weapons, or on background video screens. It featured references to Iron Man and Stark Industries with out hitting viewers over the top with it.
Viewers found themselves naming the superheroes as they saw their weapons, identifying Chitauri and Extremis tech, and pointing on the screen whispering to their friends, “see the Stark Industries brand on the bus.” The show even gave new followers just a few nerdy opportunities to “get it” by way of different nerd references with the traditional Spiderman “With great energy comes …” quote, saying the scientific name of reality serum earlier than the generic identify, and Agent Coulson’s Back to the long run automobile.
The end end result: the episode made us feel a part of a nerdy universe. We felt the S.H.I.E.L.D. world was our area. And we felt good about that.
In a latest survey, I found that 97 p.c of individuals who’ve seen an Iron Man film could recognize Tony Stark as Iron Man’s id in a multiple alternative query. The survey was half of a larger experiment on how knowledge about content affects enjoyment of the content. The purpose is that even informal Marvel viewers have developed sufficient inside knowledge and terminology to change how they relate to and experience Marvel content material.
A wealth of research shows people use inferences about their own information and habits to determine what they like and what they need to watch and buy. The S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere made it abundantly clear to viewers that this is something they know too much about and like.
Joss Whedon gave us the opportunity to have fun our nerdiness. He might have delved deep into the lore and launched obscure comedian guide characters, but he did not. As a substitute he allow us to take pleasure in our present superhero information. That knowledge will develop at different ranges for various followers as the show continues, however most importantly the premiere was a celebration of what we already know.
Usually, this is what’s so fun and powerful in regards to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As we devour an increasing number of of it, we don’t get bored of it. As an alternative we develop a data set and just a little little bit of a nerd identification that makes watching any new movie, Television show, trailer, or short increasingly more pleasing. Even re-watching the motion pictures has develop into more fun for individuals like myself, who over the past decade have turn into educated of the Marvel Universe from exhibits, discussions, and even Wikipedia articles, so re-watching the movies permits myself and others to note extra of the Marvel mythology.
Marvel does a great job balancing the needs and wants of both new followers and outdated comedian guide fans. As an example, the promoting for Thor: The Darkish World’s has largely focused on the two blockbuster characters Thor and Loki. The promoting has not prominently function Malekith the Accursed, the true large baddie in the film. But, the advertising has sufficient of this obscure character played by former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston, for true nerds everywhere to get excited about.
Nevertheless, nothing shows Marvel’s try to let us take pleasure in our “nerdiness” than how Loki was introduced within the Thor: The Dark World teaser trailer. In probably the greatest means any character has ever been introduced in a trailer, Loki’s iconic voice utters over a black display, “You should be truly determined to return to me for assist.” Nerds in all places immediately welled up with pleasure. They realized who was talking and it crammed them with anticipation. And on top of that they felt so excited to acknowledge Loki before being proven him. They obtained the opportunity to shout with pleasure in their thoughts or to whisper to their pal “Loki!” before the trailer showed his face.
Marvel is aware of that being a nerd isn’t just about watching, it’s about collaborating. Even when you don’t costume up like a superhero and go to Comedian Con, Marvel has given you many ways to participate in their universe and really feel at the least faintly nerdy. And are available on, admit it, it feels variety of good to be a nerd.
Troy Campbell is a consumer psychology researcher at Duke University. He additionally loves being a connoisseur of nerd content. By some nice fortune he is now residing the dream, working to scientifically perceive why individuals enjoy motion pictures and other content. His aim in research is to help people take pleasure in their content extra and help companies and artists create content people will love extra.